The Luci Pro Series inflatable solar light includes a USB port that lets you charge your mobile devices. The seemingly simple addition of the mobile charging port makes the MPOWERD Luci Pro Series light downright awesome.
Let’s take a closer look.
Luci Pro Series Review
MPOWERD claim to fame is its inflatable solar lantern design. You get a solar panel and battery encased in an inflatable cylindrical tube. The inflatable portion scatters and diffuses the LED light, making the Luci lights work well as camping lanterns and emergency lights.
The Pro Series takes the basic Luci lantern design a step farther by including a USB charging port. This means you can charge the Luci Pro Series from a vehicle charger or wall charger in addition to the sun.
Better yet, you can use the onboard battery to charge your phone. For out-of-cell-service backcountry use, I can use the Luci Pro Series to charge my Garmin InReach Satellite Communicator.
The Luci Pro Series comes in two versions, one with a clear vinyl inflatable exterior and one with a matte finish. The clear version puts out up to 150 lumens of light, while the matte puts out 135 lumens.
The clear is brighter, but I highly recommend the matte version because the light output is softer. It’s not harsh and it’s very usable. We’re big fans of the matte version. Part of this is due to the matte exterior, but the LED lights are also a bit different. The clear uses 10 “cool white LEDs” while the matte uses 10 “warm white LEDs.”
The 2000 mAh battery lasts up to 50 hours on a single charge. MPOWERD says it takes up to 14 hours to recharge the battery fully from the sun only. In my experience, this seems pretty accurate, but the angle and intensity of the sun is definitely important. This is par for the course for all solar panels.
It takes 2-3 hours to quick charge it from a USB power source.
For backcountry or backpacking use, the Luci Pro Series lanterns weigh a reasonable 5.5 oz. The diameter and height are both 5 inches. The Pro Series collapses down to just 1.5 inches heigh.
Also, the Luci Pro Series has a waterproof ratting of IP67.
First, the Luci Pro Series matte-finish solar lantern is awesome. It’s ultralight. You can use the built-in strap to secure it to a tree branch, to the interior of a tent, to a pop-up sun/rain shade . . . or pretty much anywhere. Best yet, the Pro Series matte version produces bright, warm light. It’s seriously good. You will want to use this lantern.
If you’re walking with the lantern, you can point the bottom in front of you and use it like a wide-beam flashlight. It’s great to take on a midnight bathroom break. Just saying.
Meanwhile, what about the mobile charging feature? It’s a good backup emergency power source. If I’m going anywhere alone or far off-grid in the backcountry, the ability to charge my InReach Satellite Communicator makes it worth its weight.
For smartphone charging, you’re not going to be able to fully charge most modern smartphones, but you can give your battery a boost. In an emergency situation, a boost could be the critical difference you need.
Luci Base Light vs Luci Pro Series
The key difference between the Luci Base Light and the Pro Series is the size of the battery and the weight. The Luci Base Light has a bigger 4000 mAh battery and weighs in at 10.1 oz.
What does the extra battery get you? More power. The Luci Base Light puts out up to 360 lumens.
For car camping and home or vehicle emergency use, go with the Luci Base Light.
The MPOWERD Luci Pro Series inflatable solar light is an excellent camping, backpacking and emergency lantern. It’s lightweight, produces great light characteristics, and can even give your mobile devices a critical boost charge. Very highly recommended.
* Note: Previous naming of the Pro Series used the ‘Lux’ term. The specs are the same, so this seems to be a case of cleaning up the naming conventions and product line at MPOWERD. If you happen to find a ‘Lux’ version, we wouldn’t hesitate to nab it.